Following its acquisition of the symbol @ in 2010, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has now also acquired the Creative Commons logo for its permanent collections, and has put it on display as part of its exhibition, This is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good.
This doesn't mean the museum now owns the logo -- or @ for that matter -- rather, it now has permission to reproduce it. It would be difficult to keep the logo in its permanent collection without that permission and this serves as a perfect example of what the exhibition is all about.
"This exhibition takes its title from the Twitter message that British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) used to light up the stadium at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremonies. His buoyant tweet highlighted the way that the internet -- perhaps the most radical social design experiment of the last quarter century -- has created limitless possibilities for the discovery, sharing, and expansion of knowledge and information," the exhibition's description reads.
"As we revel in this abundant possibility, we sometimes forget that new technologies are not inherently democratic. Is design in the digital age -- so often simply assumed to be for the greater good -- truly for everyone?"
Creative Commons was created in 2001 by Lawrence Lessig, Hal Abelson and Eric Eldred as a solution to retaining copyright on something as enormous as the internet. The licenses provided by Creative Commons allow creators to retain copyright over and receive attribution for their work, while allowing others to make use of it.
The logo itself was designed by Ryan Junell, who took for the simple logo design cues from the copyright symbol -- a letter C in a circle. Adding a second C, MoMA asserts, brings a new meaning to the symbol -- the implication being that, just as the second C increases the logo, Creative Commons has created something more than copyright.
In addition to the main logo, the museum also acquired the Creative Commons logos for Attribution, ShareAlike, Noncommercial and NoDerivatives, the first of which, with its now-familiar person in a circle, was redesigned by Creative Commons designer Alex Roberts.
The exhibition will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art until January 31, 2016. You can read more about it on the MoMA blog.